INFORMATION AVAILABLE to DAILY GUIDE indicates that some 3,800 tons of rice declared contaminated have found their way into the market.
Some unscrupulous persons were said to have collected the unwholesome rice disposed of at the Kpone Landfill Site by officials of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and are being sold to food vendors, especially those at Ashaiman and in Tema, including the surrounding communities.
Some of the rice were said to have been sold in the market during the Yuletide until the security agencies got wind of the criminal act. Unfortunately, the threshold for risk tolerance in the case of the rice is very low because rice is a staple food that is consumed by millions of Ghanaians daily.
So far, a 32-year-old man named Seidu Zakariah, reported to be a slum dweller at Kpone in the Greater Accra Region, has been arrested by personnel of the Ghana Police Service and officers of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) in connection with the criminal act.
About 21 bags of the suspected unwholesome rice, according to EOCO’s Executive Director, K.K. Amoah, who briefed DAILY GUIDE, were found stored in fertilizer sacks in the suspect’s room upon his arrest.
The suspect and exhibits recovered were handed over to the Tema Regional Criminal Investigations Department for further investigation and action.
Narrating how EOCO’s Tema Regional Office got clued up about the suspect’s operations, Mr. Amoah said on January 5, 2019, EOCO received intelligence that contrary to Section 100 (3) of the Public Health Act, 2012, (Act 851), some labourers at the Kpone refuse dump were scavenging for unwholesome food dumped by FDA.
He said an informant revealed to EOCO that the suspect, who lives in a slum near FGJB Plus Steel Limited, had on January 5, 2019, gone to scavenge some noxious rice in sacks and sent them to his house with the intention of selling them to “waakye” vendors from Ashaiman and its environs.
Acting on intelligence, he said, the Tema Office of EOCO carried out a surveillance operation in the vicinity on January 6, 2019, at 3:30am and subsequently liaised with the Tema Regional Police Command to effect the arrest of Seidu Zakariah in his house at 4:30am.
Investigations conducted by DAILY GUIDE revealed that the consignment forms part of some 3,880,650 tons of Vietnamese rice imported into the country by Trammo DMMC.
The tons of rice were kept at the SDIM Bonded Warehouse in Tema and were declared unwholesome and unfit for consumption even for animals by the FDA.
BY Melvin Tarlue & Vincent Kubi